This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001


The Crossing marks Kenneth Tam’s live, virtual debut at the Kitchen OnScreen (rehearsal photo courtesy Lumi Tan and Kenneth Tam)

Who: Kenneth Tam, Lumi Tan
What: Kenneth Tam’s first live performance
Where: The Kitchen OnScreen Zoom
When: December 5-6, free with RSVP, 7:00
Why: Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary artist Kenneth Tam has been in residence at Queenslab in Ridgewood since October 30, preparing a new work for the Kitchen, following all Covid-19 protocols as he rehearses the piece and prepares for its livestream debut December 5-6. Performed by Martin Richard Borromeo, Paulina Meneses, James Lim, and Resa Mishina, The Crossing explores issues of race, gender, identity, ritual, and assimilation in relation to Asian Americans and Culturally Based Fraternal Organizations, centering on Taoist funeral rites, probate ceremonies, and the brutal hazing death of Baruch college freshman and pledge Michael Deng in 2013 while running through the gantlet known as the Glass Ceiling. Admission is free with RSVP; the December 6 performance will be followed by a Q&A with Tam (All of M, Breakfast in Bed) and Kitchen curator Lumi Tan. You can see previous Kitchen OnScreen projects here by Baseera Khan, Autumn Knight, and Ka Baird with Max Eilbacher.


Katelyn Halpern and Paul Pinto’s Living Room video is part of “EdgeCut: Sanity”

Who: Malena Dayen, Karen Lancel & Hermen Maat, Caitlin & Misha, Katelyn Halpern, Paul Pinto, divinebrick, Chris SooHoo
What: 3D live, interactive experience
Where: New York Live Arts
When: Saturday, December 5, $7-$15, 1:00 - 4:00
Why: On October 10, EdgeCut introduced us to the remarkable NowHere platform for the first part of its collaboration with New York Live Arts, “Captivity,” five hours of short performance works, discussions, and networking in which audience members navigated through different levels in order to watch livestreamed events in little pods and hang out with curators, creators, and other visitors in their pods. You could steer through fantastical landscapes, float in space, and pull up next to another pod and talk about where you’d been so far or where you were off to next, with cameras on so your face is visible on the front of your pod. I’ve tried just about every form of online entertainment while we’re all sheltering in place and arts venues are closed, and nothing else comes close to this one, even given various hiccups that require patience.

The second iteration, “Sanity,” takes place December 5 from 1:00 to 4:00, a more manageable three hours that will feature four unique rooms. In the Growth Room, you can catch director and singer Malena Dayen's opera While You Are with Me and the bright and colorful Living Room music video of dancing television heads by multidisciplinary artists Katelyn Halpern and Paul Pinto; in the Worry Room, you can let out steam with Caitlin & Misha’s Infinite Worries Bash, a participatory installation of electroacoustic piñatas that inquires, “Can the destruction of these interactive worry vessels create space for clarity?”; in the Transformation Room, you can meditate to divinebrick and Chris Soohoo’s Performance Prayer; and in the Kissing Room, you can share private moments courtesy of intimacy agents Karen Lancel and Hermen Maat, who ask, “Can we measure a kiss and what kissers feel together?”

Intimacy agents Karen Lancel and Hermen Maat explore what online kissing is like at “EdgeCut: Sanity”

Curated by Heidi Boisvert and Kat Mustatea, the EdgeCut program, which originally convened at the New Museum’s NEW INC incubator for art, tech, and design for in-person presentations, is now seeking to expand and redefine the virtual 3D experience during the pandemic lockdown, exploring the question “How do we create collective experience and transformative gatherings in this moment of ‘a crisis within a crisis’ that speak to transition, change, healing, humanity?” The works were chosen through an open call; the finale of the trilogy, “Humanity,” is scheduled for February 13, 2021. Tickets range from $7 per room to $15 for the full experience, which has to be seen to be believed.


Sidra Bell and Immanuel Wilkins will present a work-in-progress of their new collaboration online December 4 (photo by David Flores Productions)

Who: Sidra Bell Dance New York, Immanuel Wilkins
What: Performance of a new work in progress and conversation
Where: 92Y online
When: Friday, December 4, $10, 7:00
Why: Originally scheduled to debut at National Sawdust in June, Sidra Bell Dance New York and Immanuel Wilkins’s waiting will make its work-in-progress premiere December 4 at 7:00 in a presentation hosted by the 92nd St. Y’s Harkness Dance Center. Bell and Wilkins met in June 2019 at an SBDNY performance and decided to collaborate; because of the pandemic lockdown, they have continued working on the piece, which was commissioned by the Jazz Gallery, over Zoom and are ready to show an early version, to be followed by a live discussion between SBDNY artistic director Bell, whose New York City Ballet commission, Pixelation in a wave (Within Wires), can be seen here, and composer, arranger, and alto saxophonist Wilkins, who released his debut album, Omega, in August. SBDNY, which calls itself “an internationally recognized boutique brand of prolific movement illustrators based in New York City that presents and fosters a canon of innovative and progressive dance theater in a world of ideas and (im)possibilities,” consists of Marisa Christogeorge, AJ Libert, Kimie Parker, Sophia Halimah Parker, and Uma Shannon; Wilkins will be joined by Jeremy Corren on piano, Daryl Johns on bass, and Kweku Sumbry on drums. Virtual tickets for “Infrastructure (of a Work): waiting” are $10 and are available here.


Who: Julia Abueva, César Alvarez, Frankie Alvarez, Cathy Ang, Brittain Ashford, Jaclyn Backhaus, Courtney Bassett, Gelsey Bell, Nick Belton, Katja Blichfeld, Brian Bogin, Rachel Bonds, Hannah Bos, Michael Breslin, Salty Brine, Starr Busby, Andrew R. Butler, Nikki Calonge, Josh Canfield, Kennedy Caughell, Rachel Chavkin, Karen Chee, Manik Choksi, Claudia Chopek, Heather Christian, Lilli Cooper, Gavin Creel, Lea DeLaria, Blake Delong, Sonia Denis, Vinny DePonto, Dickie DiBella, Billy Eichner, Erik Ehn, Naomi Ekperigin, Bridget Everett, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ashley Pérez Flanagan, Patrick Foley, Peter Friedman, Laura Galindo, Nick Gaswirth, Matt Gehring, Alex Gibson, Betty Gilpin, Amber Gray, Deepali Gupta, Stephanie Hsu, Khiyon Hursey, Joomin Hwang, Joe Iconis, James Monroe Iglehart, Michael R. Jackson, Sakina Jaffrey, Kyle Jarrow, Mitra Jouhari, Jinwoo Jung, Stephen Karam, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Jennifer Kidwell, Billy Kiessling, Blaine Krauss, Mahayla Laurence, Arthur Lewis, Chris Lowell, Grace McLean, Dave Malloy, Andrew Mayer, Karyn Meek, Sammy Miller, James Monaco, Kaila Mullady, Shoba Narayan, Lila Neugebauer, Ryan O’Connell, Emily Oliveira, Isaac Oliver, Larry Owens, Ashley Park, Joél Pérez, Paul Pinto, Pearl Rhein, Matt Rogers, Phil Romano, Kyra Sedgwick, Shalewa Sharpe, Scott R. Sheppard, Brooke Shields, Rona Siddiqui, Leigh Silverman, Ben Sinclair, Tessa Skara, Peter Smith, Phillipa Soo, Scott Stangland, Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan, Babak Tafti, Jason Tam, Robin Lord Taylor, Stephanie Wright Thompson, Alex Timbers, Anthony Veneziale, Cathryn Wake, Natalie Walker, Jason “Sweettooth” Williams, Beau Willimon, Bess Wohl, Lauren Worsham, Katrina Yaukey, John Yi, Paloma Young, more
What: Virtual fundraiser
Where: Ars Nova online
When: Friday, December 4, free with RSVP (donations accepted), 6:00
Why: What, you were expecting something standard from Ars Nova? Then you don’t know the arts organization very well, do you? Whether you’re a longtime fan of the innovative company or a newbie, you’ll find a vast array of talent participating in the Ars Nova Forever Telethon, taking place over twenty-four consecutive hours beginning at 6:00 pm on December 4. Founded in 2002, Ars Nova develops and nurtures experimental, cutting-edge, innovative presentations at its main home on West Fifty-Fourth St. and its new satellite venue at Greenwich House; among its biggest recent successes are Small Mouth Sounds, The Lucky Ones, Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future, boom, and Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812.

Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 will be celebrated by original cast members at Ars Nova Forever Telethon (photo by Ben Arons)

The telethon will feature appearances by such theatrical luminaries as Gavin Creel, Lea DeLaria, Bridget Everett, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Betty Gilpin, Amber Gray, Stephanie Hsu, James Monroe Iglehart, Michael R. Jackson, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Lila Neugebauer, Ashley Park, Kyra Sedgwick, Brooke Shields, Leigh Silverman, Phillipa Soo, Robin Lord Taylor, Alex Timbers, and Bess Wohl, among dozens of others, who are all listed above. Registration is free, but donations are encouraged based on what you can afford; if you make a gift of $100 or more in advance, you will receive a watch party box filled with goodies you can eat, drink, and wear during the show. The full schedule is below.

The Kickoff, hosted by Ashley Pérez Flanagan and Grace McLean, 6:00 pm

The Comet Comes Home, hosted by Rachel Chavkin & Dave Malloy, celebrating Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, 8:00 pm

Showgasm, hosted by Matt Rogers & Shalewa Sharpe, variety show, 10:00 pm

Isaac Oliver’s Lonely Quarantine, hosted by Isaac Oliver, midnight

The Witching Hour with the Neon Coven, hosted by the Neon Coven, 2:00 am

Cartoon Camp, hosted by Mahayla Laurence & Matt Gehring, 4:00 am

Ars Nova Rewind: Vintage Videos, rare archival footage, 6:00 am

Morning Meditations: An In-Home Retreat, hosted by Sakina Jaffrey, inspired by Small Mouth Sounds, 8:00 am

“Boom Crunch” Zoom Brunch: A Celebration of Theatrical Choices, hosted by Larry Owens & Natalie Walker, 10:00 am

So You Think You Can KPOP, hosted by Jason Tam, celebrating KPOP, noon

Thon-Tha-Thon-Thon-Thon, hosted by Freestyle Love Supreme, 2:00 pm

The Finale for the Future!, hosted by Lilli Cooper & Joél Pérez, 4:00 pm


Latest NDT digital offering streams live December 3-5

Who: Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT)
What: Livestreamed dance
Where: NDT online
When: December 3-5, €15, 2:00 (with an added 6:00 am show on December 5)
Why: This past March, Nederlands Dans Theater brought its sixtieth anniversary celebration to City Center, presenting three US premieres: Gabriela Carrizo’s The Missing Door, Marco Goecke’s Walk the Demon, and Sol León and Paul Lightfoot’s Shut Eye. With much of the world in lockdown, there is no telling when NDT will be back on these shores — they have appeared at the Joyce often as well — but you can catch them December 3-5 in the company’s latest digital performance, Yoann Bourgeois’s I wonder where the dreams I don’t remember go. For his NDT 2 debut in 2019, the French acrobat, actor, juggler, dancer, and choreographer staged Little Song, in which a man and a woman move about a small wooden set that becomes a character unto itself while the Texas rock band Explosions in the Sky hovers behind them. The Hague-based company previously streamed “Dare to Say” November 6-8, consisting of Alexander Ekman’s Four Relations and Dimo Milev’s Fusions and some confusions. The forty-five-minute December 3-5 shows will be livestreamed from the Zuiderstrandtheater, where all coronavirus protocols were followed during the filming. “The livestreams are by no means a diluted theater experience,” NDT notes on its website. “The dancers and support teams make every effort to make your visit to our online theater as special and inspiring as possible.” The work will not be archived for later viewing but must be experienced live, so take careful note of the scheduled time depending on where you are in the world. (For more on Bourgeois, you can watch Les grand fantômes here.)


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater reimagines Revelations at Wave Hill for sixtieth anniversary of company masterpiece (photo by Nicole Tintle)

December 2-31, free, donations encouraged

It’s not the holidays without our annual visit to City Center to take in a few performances of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s monthlong winter residency. But with the pandemic lockdown, the venue is closed, so the season, dubbed “Ailey Forward,” is going virtual. From December 2 to 31, AAADT will present nine livestreamed programs, each of which will be available for one week following its debut, centered on a celebration of the sixtieth anniversary of Revelations. Admission is free, although donations are encouraged to help support the company.

“Despite adversity, Ailey’s holiday tradition will move forward this December with virtual performances sharing characteristic warmth, spirit, and artistry,” artistic director Robert Battle said in a statement. “Offered as a source of inspiration and unity, Ailey’s groundbreaking season will share special programs celebrating six decades of Revelations, reinvent classic works by our beloved founder, and honor Glenn Allen Sims and Linda Celeste Sims, whose long and illustrious career exemplifies why the Ailey dancers are so applauded.”

The season includes world premieres by Jamar Roberts and the trio of Matthew Rushing, Clifton Brown, and Yusha-Marie Sorzano; newly filmed excerpts from classics; talks with Wynton Marsalis, Toshi Reagon, and others; thematic evenings on the topics of spirit and social justice; and a tribute to two of the company’s most beloved dancers, Glenn Allen Sims and Linda Celeste Sims, who have been together since the late 1990s and got married in 2001. Below is the complete schedule.

Wednesday, December 2, through December 9
Opening Night Virtual Benefit: “Revelations Reimagined,” with excerpts filmed at Wave Hill in the Bronx, followed by a dance party, free with RSVP, 7:30

Saturday, December 5, through December 12
Family Program: Ailey & Ellington / BattleTalk with Wynton Marsalis, featuring Ailey’s Night Creature (performed by Ailey Extension in the streets, with commentary by teacher Sarita Allen, whom Ailey gave the lead role), Reflections in D (new solo by Vernard Gilmore), and Pas de Duke, filmed at the Woolworth Tower Residences in the Woolworth Building, followed by a discussion with Wynton Marsalis and Robert Battle, 2:00

Monday, December 7, through December 14
Dancing Spirit, with Hope Boykin performing the “This Little Light of Mine” excerpt from Matthew Rushing’s 2014 Odetta, two Alvin Ailey students performing a new duet by student performance group rehearsal director Freddie Moore set to Toshi Reagon’s “The Sun Will Never Go Down,” followed by a discussion with Battle, Reverend Dr. Eboni Marshall Turman, and Reagon, 7:30

Wednesday, December 9, through December 16
Celebrating Glenn Allen Sims & Linda Celeste Sims, with premiere of new recording of central duet from Billy Wilson’s 1992 The Winter in Lisbon, excerpts of the married couple performing in Night Creature and Polish Pieces and “Fix Me, Jesus” from Revelations, Linda in a solo from Ailey’s 1979 Memoria, Glenn in the finale of Ailey’s 1972 Love Songs, and a discussion with Linda, Glenn, and Ronald K. Brown, 7:30

Friday, December 11, through December 18
Dancing for Social Justice / BattleTalk with Kyle Abraham, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar & Bryan Stevenson, featuring excerpts from Jawole Willa Jo Zollar’s 1998 Shelter and Kyle Abraham’s 2016 Untitled America, followed by a discussion with Battle, Abraham, Zollar, and Equal Justice Initiative founder Bryan Stevenson, 7:30

Jacqueline Green and Yannick Lebrun perform Alvin Ailey’s Pas De Duke atop the Woolworth Building for winter season (photo courtesy of Ailey)

Monday, December 14, through December 21
World Premiere: A Jam Session for Troubling Times / BattleTalk with Jamar Roberts, featuring world premiere of Ailey dancer and resident choreographer Jamar Roberts’s A Jam Session for Troubling Times, filmed by Emily Kikta and Peter Walker, part of the global Bird100 centennial celebration of Charlie Parker, preceded by a discussion with Battle and Roberts, 7:30

Thursday, December 17, through December 24
World Premiere: Testament, a contemporary response to Revelations, by associate artistic director Matthew Rushing, company member and assistant to the rehearsal director Clifton Brown, and former company member Yusha-Marie Sorzano, featuring cinematography by Preston Miller and an original score by Damien Sneed, filmed at Wave Hill, followed by a discussion with Rushing, Brown, and Sorzano, 7:30

Saturday, December 19, through December 26
Family Program: Revelations, featuring a workshop of “Wade in the Water” and “Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham” from Revelations and a company performance of the work, with a focus on the word unique, 2:00

Wednesday, December 23, through December 31
Decades of Revelations, featuring highlights from sixty years of performances of Revelations, 7:30


Who: Antonio Brown, Rakeem Hardy, Mario Bermudez Gil and Catherine Coury of Marcat Dance, China Central Song and Dance Ensemble, Johnnie Cruise Mercer, Justin Shoulder, Tyler Ashley (the Dauphine of Bushwick), OHMME
What: Tenth edition of digital music and dance series
Where: Public Records TV
When: Wednesday, November 18, streaming free, watch party $10, 6:00 - 10:00
Why: Since May, four/four has been commissioning and presenting Tethered, a collection of works that bring together musicians and dancers from around the world to create virtual collaborations. On November 18 at 6:00, Tethered X will make its debut, featuring movement by Spanish choreographers Mario Bermudez Gil and Catherine Coury of Marcat Dance, Toronto-based dancer Rakeem Hardy, and Cleveland-based dancer-choreographer Antonio Brown, set to an original score by Chicago-based experimental indie-pop duo OHMME. There will also be archival works by Justin Shoulder, Johnnie Cruise Mercer, Tyler Ashley (the Dauphine of Bushwick), and China Central Song and Dance Ensemble, curated by Benjamim Akio Kimitch. In addition to streaming for free online, there is an in-person garden watch party at Public Records in Brooklyn; tickets are $10. You can check out previous Tethered programs, with such guests as Jon Batiste, Madison McFerrin, Lloyd Knight, Charlotte Dos Santos, Gus Solomons, and Princess Lockerooo, here.